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M. C. A. Hogarth
Name: M. C. A. Hogarth
What's This All About?
My life in text: writing, art, massage therapy, fencing, health, humor and language and culture; ethics and society and personal musing.
Author's Other Websites
Stardancer News
The Pursuit of Beauty
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I'm M.C.A. Hogarth, author and artist. I write fiction (science fiction, fantasy, romance, etc), nonfiction (mostly about business and parenthood) and draw pictures, mostly of dragons, elves and people in beautiful clothes. Below you can see some of what I'm doing currently, and check up on my status.

Latest Kickstarter Project
Coming soon in late summer of 2014!

Latest E-Fiction: Check out the fiction I have online, what order to read it in and where to buy it. Or have a look at my intended publishing schedule for the year.

Latest Paperback: Rose Point, Book 2 of Her Instruments. Space opera; in this case, the continuing adventures of irascible merchant Captain Reese Eddings, as she delves deeply (and unwillingly) into space elf politics...

Current Serial: TBA!

Latest Sale: Originals are for sale here. My Zazzle store offers prints, mugs, shirts, bags and such! Otherwise you can keep up on my offers on Livejournal through my "sale" tag.

If you have a lot of spare time and haven't browsed it yet, I have over 3000 images available on my website, sketches, paintings and comics.

Cons: Watch this Space!

Balance Card 5-Card Readings: Not Available
Balance Card Keepsake Paintings: Not Available
Commissions: Not taking them.
Illustration projects: Not taking them.

P.O. Box
Email me for my address, if you'd like to request materials or send a tip or donation.

MCAH Online Home.
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The new coloring book is doing really well, so I am highly motivated to work on Part 2--the guys! This is going a little bit more slowly though since I'm doing a lot of new art for it. I just don't draw men as often, so my range of pictures to pick from is narrower... plus, the diversity of faces/body types isn't as wide, and that disappoints me. Not just because when I think of little kids not seeing anyone like them to color my heart wilts, but also because as an artist I think it's a fun challenge to make people look their different races without resorting to color to cue people.

Anyway, I finished three pieces yesterday (bringing the total page count to 6 of 20):

This one is the mysterious 'but what's going on' piece that makes you want to make up stories about the characters while coloring....

...this is a half-elf mage afflicted by tiny dragons. He doesn't look too miserable, does he?

Finally, spiffy naga dude with roadrunner griffin companion.

And I started this one of a Polynesian-based man with a draft horse-based unicorn:

Lest you worry that I am neglecting Morgan and his friends, rest assured I'm still adding 5 pages a day to the novel. It's now over a third done, and I'm on track to be finished before NaNoWriMo, so I can devote the writing contest to the third and final book.

Trucking along, thus!

This new coloring book needs a name, though. The girl version is 'Not in Need of Rescue,' referring to the fantasy trope of women being damsels in distress. But what says 'male' and 'sf/f'? Maybe 'Nothing to Prove' or 'Not in Need of Quests'? What do you think?

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Yesterday was Child's seventh birthday! I do not feel like I've been a mother for seven years. I feel like I've been a mother forever, and I only just had a baby yesterday, and I'm very much as confused now as I was when they first handed her to me and said, "Here, feed her," and I said, "What? I don't know how to do that! What if I drop her!"

Maternal, I am not.

Anyway! We had flourless chocolate birthday cake and flourless almond cookies. The almond cookies are a holiday favorite here, baked for special occasions... I like them because they are super easy and very quick to make. I tweaked the recipe from the inside of an almond paste can until it met my family's approval, so now I am passing it on to you. Try them for the end of the year festivities, or any time you need a pick-me-up with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate!

Jaguar Almond Cookies
1 can (8 oz) almond paste
1/3 cup (3 oz) granulated white sugar
1 pinch (about 1/8th of a teaspoon) pink (or other flavorful) salt
1 egg white
Sprinkles/decorative stuff

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line pan with parchment paper. Scrape paste into bowl and add sugar. Either beat them until integrated or do what I do and go at it with your hand, as if mixing clay. Get your aggression out, rar! Add the salt and the egg white and mix fully, until sticky.

Form into balls, about a tablespoon or so, and flatten gently into thick discs. Note that they won't change shape much while baking so if you make them ugly with ragged edges they will oblige you by cooking into that shape. (Conversely, if you like making shapes, pat them into hearts or pinch them into stars. They're a little too wet for conventional cookie cutters, but they can be "encouraged," shall we say.) Add a decoration to the top--I like crunchy sugar crystals, the kind that come in colors (I bought the fancy gold ones at the party store)--and pat them in place.

Put in oven in middle rack for 20m. Move to top rack for 4-6m. Remove and eat!

These cookies are tender, thick and chewy. They're less sweet than the average almond cookie, and the salt brings out the almond flavor and makes them a little less single-note in flavor.

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To include different ethnicities (though I'm drawing some of those fresh, so it's taking a little longer):


And family men:


And extremely hyper-detailed stuff I would have liked to paint but will probably never find the time to:


Don't worry, long-haired elf fans, there will be plenty of those too. :)

I wasn't planning to do another of these so soon, but the Women in Fantasy coloring book is doing rather well, so I thought I'd take the hint...! I am tentatively planning this one for release in September at some point.

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Current Mood: working working

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Frozen becoming a phenomenon has caused Disney to install a great many themed activities at Disney World. We saw Elsa and Anna process down Hollywood Boulevard, accompanied by a great number of (unfortunate) dancers dressed in Scandinavian-themed costumes, complete with fake furs--how they didn't faint in the heat/humidity, I have no idea. We passed many, many concession stands filled with frozen slushies and caramel-drizzled popcorn/apples. There was a Frozen sing-along (very popular with everyone), and a Frozen fireworks display at night that hands-down took the prize for the best at all four of Disney's major parks.

There was also a Frozen funland, with a heap of "real snow"... and an ice skating rink, were there were hourly demonstrations by skilled skaters, and skates you could rent.

What I am still wondering a week later is what possessed Disney World, with its battle fleet of lawyers, to build an ice skating rink in Florida and then set innocent tourists on it with their excited children (who know "just how to do this" because they watched Elsa teach Anna at the end of the movie). I signed the densest release form I can ever remember signing at a theme park--or anywhere else--before handing over the money in return for socks and two pairs of skates and a helmet. A helmet! Lord. What they really need to give you is full protective gear.

I learned to ice skate when I was a kidling in New Orleans, and that was--God save me--quite some time ago, so I had forgotten how brutal it is to learn. They had some notion, because the moment we got onto the ice, they said, tired, "Hold on to the wall. Go right. No, not left. Everyone goes to the right. Clockwise."

Which is what everyone did, because if you've never ice skated, it's not the simplest skill to acquire, and it's exhausting, and the chances of you taking a nasty fall are very high. Daughter, full of enthusiasm because she knew 'just how to do this', soon discovered she didn't and was reduced to hobbling around the rink, falling now and then. She escaped with a sour attitude and one enormous bruise on the inside of her arm where she fell. I thought she was lucky, honestly. I'd forgotten how easy it is to break a limb doing this, even if your ankles are completely immobilized up over the joint by your skates.

Me, I went around once. I still knew how, much to my surprise... but the skates they rented us had no stops, something I discovered the first time I confidently pushed off only to find the wall rushing toward me (with its crowd of death's-grip novices) and nothing happening when I tilted forward. You can do a ski-style move to shed momentum but I didn't remember it, so I ended up doing fancy pirouettes every time I wanted to come to rest. Silly, but enormously fun. I remembered enjoying ice skating, and I still do, even though it's tiring and your feet and ankles hurt a great deal afterwards.

I've since learned that in places where ice skating is common, they give beginners walkers with little tennis-ball feet. This makes so much more sense to me. All those poor kids at Disney World. Really, what were they thinking? :,

(And as a final aside, to all my Northern acquaintances and friends who always think to pat me on the head condescendingly when I say I've never seen snow, I can say: "Hey, I have a bona fide Northern skill. On ice. And I learned it in the South! So there!")

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I'm not really convinced of any of these covers (note that #2 and #3 there are not done, I just tossed the words down and picked colors). I wish I had time to do proper art for them! But I don't. C'est la vie!


The tentative plan is to release all three books at once when I finish them (hesitantly, around the holidays this year). I've never tired the simultaneous-launch strategy (where you release all the books in a series at the same time instead of doing it sequentially over months), so I figured, why not, right?

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First, a request: I'm trying to arrange for some promotions for Mindtouch and Earthrise and some of the better places that do promos require at least 25 reviews. Mindtouch already has 19 and Earthrise 14... so not too far! If you were thinking of reviewing, I'd appreciate it; even a couple of lines is fine. Thank you! :)

Second, it is with amusement that I note that over half my print sales this month are... coloring books! And not just the generic 'women in fantasy' one. The Jokka and Laundry Dragons books moved too, if not in as great numbers. I am thinking, thus, that I'm going to ink pictures for another coloring book while livestreaming The Worth of a Shell next month. While I don't know if this trend will hold, if it does coloring books will apparently be a nice way to shore up my revenue.

Current Mood: hopeful/amused
Current Music: The Bravery - Above and Below

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A conversation with ursulav, who's off touring Europe on a multi-con trip, prompted this doodle:

(Come to think of it, that's an odd sentence, isn't it? I'm having a conversation with someone in Europe? But it did happen! I got her text around 6:30 in the morning when I was making breakfast before work, and we chatted while I oversaw the bacon frying and the tea steeping. Technology is kind of awesome.)

Anyway, this was totally unfair of me because she's away, so she doesn't have access to her tablet and can't respond. But I couldn't resist. >.>

Which brings us to the next question: people have mentioned wanting to buy the badgers, or subsidize the badgers, or have us do something with the badgers. We are both more than willing to issue a book if we can find a publisher to do it for us--neither of us want to be involved with self-publishing something and then figuring out how to split royalties between us (unless there's a way we don't know about, and if so I'm all ears!). If you know of such a publisher, tell us! Otherwise, the best thing you can do is tip us. We both have Patreon "tip jars" (Ursula's is here, mine is here), or you can just drop us a Paypal line. A quick tour of Ursula's website doesn't show any honey badger prints, so you can bother her about those if you want one. I have a couple available at my shop.

So the question is: do you want a book? What do you want to see in it? Just the cartoons? Other stuff? And (of course) do you know someone willing to publish it!

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I'm currently reading a Regency romance which involves a set of brothers who get married off in each book. The interlocked brothers-in-a-series trope is fairly common, and these series dedicate a lot of time to developing the family relationships between brothers (and parents) along with the romantic relationships, which I can appreciate since otherwise the stories would feel rather poorly rounded. The latest ones I'm reading, however, have been pricking my 'not believable, maybe' sense, though, because the brothers in them are incredibly physically touchy.

Now, I grew up in a colonial edition of a culture that partakes in the Southern European ease with touch, particularly between men. The perfunctory hugs I witness among male American relations strike me as peculiar; even in my excessively formal/reserved family, men greeted one another with real embraces and kisses, and it wasn't uncommon to see men walking down the street with a hand on the other's neck, or fluffing each other's hair, touching each other's faces, etc.

My perception of American touch/hug habits, however, is that they comprise a colonial edition of the British touch culture. Is that true? I have no idea. But men here, it's like you hug for longer than a heartbeat and you're instantly homosexual.

Is that normal? Is it going to stay normal? Who knows with things changing. Or is it that there's something about warmer climates that encourages sensuality (in the 'sensuous/tactile' sense, not the sexual one), and colder areas are forever doomed to touch starvation? I have no idea. But what I'm curious about is if Regency-era men were physically more touchy with one another within the family, and this is some historical trend I don't know about that hit a wall in later epochs, producing the modern American version of 'keep your distance, because all touch is a sexual advance.'

Or maybe this is some disease of our modern culture. God knows the whole 'your touching me in any fashion means you want to have sex with me' thing is utterly tiresome.

What do you think?

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Current Mood: curious curious
Current Music: The Bravery - Fistful of Sand

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It's amazing how much stuff backs up in a week, even in a microbusiness like mine. This list is mostly for me to keep track of things, but you are welcome to comment on it if you wish!

• Find some way to move website to some other provider (*cries bitter tears of irritation*)
• Finish fixing the e-books that Smashwords messed up so they get shipped properly (try for one every few days)
• Catch up with backlog of novel in brain (Morgan Book 2)
Investigate Amazon pre-order set-up for Morgan series now that they've let the rest of us do them
Listen to 15m of audio preview for Alysha short story for approval
Listen to Godkin Book 2 audio (half the book) for approval
• Mess around with new coloring book idea (men in fantasy/sf? Maybe?)
Get Honey Badger cartoon to Bulletin editor, since he doesn't have it, maybe?
• Think about finishing 1. That Jokka short you jotted notes for; 2. That Alysha novella you started; 3. That Alysha short story you started; 4. That sequel to Stormfront you started; 5. That military SF pelted collection you wanted to do.

I note, with interest, that working a Day Job I write 3-4 novels a year, and my brain is bursting at the seams with stuff that needs to be done. If I was working full-time, that means I could probably do a scary 5-8 novels a year. And then I would have to lower my prices on all my novels so that people could afford to keep up with me...!

*wonders briefly what it would be like to have fewer stories pressing at the inside of her head*


*goes back to work that pays the bills* -_-

Current Mood: busy busy

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I have returned from my internet vacation! I sometimes take those for anywhere from a day to a couple of weeks to detox from being too upset by forums and strangers and what-have-you. Most of those vacations I spend at home with books. This week, I was actually on actual vacation: a week at Disney, with Daughter, who had an amazing time. Disney knows how to put on a good vacation!

Oh gosh. So much food. *starts listing*

Anyway! I'm really exhausted! A lot of email/business has been piling up in my absence, and I'm not going to get to it today. So thanks for your patience while I rehydrate and catch up on my sleep. And for those of you following me on Twitter, I hope you enjoyed my mysterious pictures of animals and occasional cryptic commentary. :)

Current Mood: fried
Current Music: inevitable Frozen soundtrack

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New-Wingless-Cover-new-ebook-cover SomeThingsTranscend-cover
Even the Wingless: Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo | Audible
Some Things Transcend: Amazon | B&N | Apple | Kobo

Ten years ago, when Even the Wingless almost became my first "in a bookstore from a major publisher" book, I didn't anticipate writing a sequel that started literally within hours of its final pages' events.

Sometimes, characters make unexpected demands.

      /Fine,/ Vasiht'h answered, terse. Then, the words trembling with anxiety, /As fine as we can be. Did he..../
      /He killed the Chatcaavan with minimal cruelty./ Jahir paused as Lisinthir did, holding the staff at ready. He hadn't flicked it on yet, fearing the light would reveal them: why had the Alliance designed their staves to shine like torches? A simple metal baton would have been sufficient and given less warning.
      /He's just so... good at it./
      /Someone must be, beloved./

I have long known that the lives of the Eldritch who ventured offworld intertwined. In Some Things Transcend, the first of those entanglements comes in the form of Jahir Seni Galare and his partner, Vasiht'h, meeting their House-cousin Lisinthir, expecting to ply their trade on a man shattered by the violence of an alien court. Instead, they find themselves thrust into his world, embroiled in the politics of three nations, and find a detente of their own, with each other, their new roles, and the new family member who bursts into their life.

Some Things Transcend is both a war story, and a love story; a psychological case study, an adventure, a mystery, and the opening volley in a conflict that I fully expect to span multiple novels and character storylines. In honor of that, and to coincide with the e-book release of Transcend, I've revisited Wingless's e-book, print, and audiobook editions, correcting typos and adding expanded backmatter. Never fear if you bought the earlier edition: the story hasn't changed! I've only added the new standard appendices about the Alliance, along with information on Book 2 of the series, now called Princes' Game. Because this war is the most dangerous princes' game of all....

Wingless remains one of my most difficult books (though I think Alysha's Fall is harder, personally). Those of you who opted not to read it will be glad to hear that Transcend gives several good synopses of its events...though you will have to put up with some erotic content in trade: Lisinthir seems unavoidably dangerous to a narrative, one way or another. Also, readers of the serial will be gratified to see the changes I've made to the story; they're subtle, but I think the book is much stronger for the confusion some of you expressed at the events as they unfolded in the serialized edition.

Whatever the case, if this is your cup of tea, I hope you enjoy returning to the Alliance. And as always, thank you for your recommendations, your reviews, and your patronage!

Note: I've been asked about print and audiobook editions for Some Things Transcend. The former is likely later this year, if revenue remains good. I'm not anticipating having the funds for the latter for some time, alas!

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Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

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Lots of things have gone out in the mail this week, including:

• Jenne's frog
• Amanda's re-sending of the Laundry Dragons material
• Things for Kythryne and Elise Lioness
• Review copies for Fred
• Two of the raffle kindles*
• Plus some assorted other stuff.

If you are expecting something in the mail from me, it's probably on its way!

* I have only two addresses for the four winners of the raffle, Skyler's and Wispfox's. If you won a kindle and are not one of those two people, please email me your address (haikujaguar at gmail).

Otherwise, the next two weeks are super busy for me with school starting, so my posting/responding/reading of email may be sporadic. Sorry about that! Things will calm down in a couple of weeks.

Current Mood: busybusy

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Print: Amazon | B&N | Createspace
E-Book (Borrowing or Buying): Amazon

Vinny the Armadillo has a problem: much as he loves his brothers and sisters, what he really wants is a friend! But unfortunately, finding the right person to be his friend is a little harder than he thought. So he decides to undertake a quest in search of just this thing, in a magical version of central Florida:

     Home had palmettos with spiky leaves and big tall pine trees, and live oaks that grew in rings. Vinny had heard from one of his aunts that families of dryads often lived in live oak rings, but he had never seen a dryad. He loved listening to his aunt's stories and remembered everything she'd ever said about how to identify types of dragonflies and which leaves made you itch and what trees might have phoenixes in them, but he had never seen any of these things with his own eyes... because until now, he'd never been old enough to go out on his own. He lived in the burrow Mamma had dug, with his three brothers and his four tiny sisters, and those were his playmates. And he liked his brothers, and his sisters were very cute, but Vinny was restless. Vinny wanted to see the Wide World.
      Vinny was bored.

My Daughter is a very outgoing personality, the sort who will present herself fearlessly to complete strangers and pipe, "Hi! Want to play?" She loves people... which is how I learned very quickly that teaching a child how to identify potential friends (instead of, say, potential bullies, or potential acquaintances, or potential snobs, etc) was an important lesson. This book grew out of my--and her--adventures trying to figure out not how to make a friend, but who to make friends with.

It worked out well: when she read the draft, she exclaimed over every character Vinny met: "That's so-and-so!" or "That's what happened to such-and-thus!" Score one for Mommy-Writer!

This book is intended for 6-9 year olds (1st to 2nd grade), if you want to buy for your child, or someone else's; it's five chapters long, the perfect length for reading aloud (we tested it!), and has some activity pages in the back to help children explore their local habitats with their favorite adults. And it also comes with a built-in "You can help!" route: for the first three months, the e-book is available only at Amazon so I can put it in their Kindle Select/Unlimited program. That means if you have Amazon Prime, you can borrow this book for free... and so long as you page through at least 10% of its 30 pages, I'll get paid! (Honestly, the illustration at the end of the last chapter is worth paging to, I think.) Or you can read it--each chapter's about 2 pages--and leave a review, and that would be even better. :)

This is the first in what I hope to be a series of 5-6 Vinny and Hachi books. I don't expect to make too much money on these, but I'm doing it to enjoy with my daughter more than recoup my costs. The indie children's book market is pretty much nonexistent because of how heavily that market depends on school and library recommendations. So literally, every borrow/buy/review counts on this one, and I am grateful for each!

Even if you don't have a child, I hope you get a chance to see the illustrations, because armadillos and swamp unicorns deserve some love!

There you have it! Enjoy, and pass the word.

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...the book is just about 20% done already, I think.

Here's an excerpt, cut, because spoilers? Unavoidably? It is a Book 2, after all. Morgan and Ivy, and this is my literal first draft, like haven't touched it, so sorry for its roughness.

Because SweetnessCollapse )

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Current Mood: hee